Date: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Location: Tate 473 (room above food court)
The speaker for the CFF monthly meeting will be Dr. Tom Lessl, UGA professor of Communication Studies. His topic is “Rhetorical Darwinism: Religion, Evolution, and Scientific Identity”.
Abstract: The thesis of Rhetorical Darwinism is that the idea of evolution has dual meanings within scientific culture, one meaning that is professional and technical, and another that is political and ideological. Evolution’s technical meaning is the more familiar one, the standard view of biological history. Its older ideological meaning, which gained currency during the prior centuries of the Enlightenment, was conflated with biological evolution in Darwin’s time. This second pattern is often called “evolutionism,” and it is an idea closely related to progress, the idea that the passage of history marks the gradual improvement, not only of living things, but of human beings and society as well. In my book I call this “rhetorical Darwinism” because I am mainly concerned with the persuasive appeal that evolutionism has for modern science. I show this by examining the messages of rhetorical Darwinism’s foremost 19th-century practitioner, Thomas Huxley, the British scientist who spent much of his life fighting to win public support for science.
You can also click here to be taken to a Baylor University Press summary of Tom’s book from which the content of the talk will be taken.
We will provide a light complimentary lunch if your RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 3, by 5 pm. You can RSVP by filling out the form below.